Contributions of E-Collaborative Knowledge Construction to Professional Learning and Expertise

Contributions of E-Collaborative Knowledge Construction to Professional Learning and Expertise

Christian Harteis (University of Regensburg, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-729-9.ch005


Modern employment and work life demands employees who continuously develop and actualize their competencies. Information and computer technology (ICT) provides rich opportunities to support individuals in their professional learning. This contribution describes professional learning from the perspective of research on expertise, which analyses the development of knowledge structures on the way from novice to high performing expert. First, a general concept of competence and knowledge development is to be discussed and different types of knowledge are to be distinguished. Then this contribution discusses opportunities to support this development with e-learning scenarios on the various levels of knowledge construction. The main argument is that e-learning opportunities are an option to overcome the traditional distinction between formal and informal learning. However, crucial challenges for implementing e-collaborative knowledge construction remain – as the contribution finally will conclude.
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Developing Professional Competence And Expertise: State Of Research

When discussing issues of professional learning, the core reference is professional competence. In the following sections a theoretical concept of professional competence and its development is discussed, in order to develop a precise understanding of the purposes that are followed by work-related e-collaborative knowledge construction. This section presents a typology of professional competence as well as a consideration of the acquisition of competence from the perspective of knowledge construction. Several types of knowledge (e.g., declarative, conceptual, procedural, and negative knowledge) are distinguished in order to explain the capability to perform on a high level. Case examples of computer-mediated learning processes, which illustrate this general theory of professional competence in the area of e-collaborative knowledge construction, will be addressed in the third section.

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